HEROES OF THE BAILEY

Stage is black, save for a spotlight. A man, "G," stumbles into the spotlight, which follows him as he staggers around the stage.

In the distance, we hear crowd noise. G stops moving and tilts his head upward, listening. The crowd noise stops, and G looks around.

Suddenly, he leaves the spotlight and, in the arkness, we hear him throwing up loudly. When he is finished, he steps back into the light and wipes his mouth. He exits.

The lights go up, revealing a backdrop of a section of stadium seats. Well, not "seats," exactly, but a "safe standing" section.

A high-­pitched airhorn sounds, but dies in a few seconds. Once the airhorn is over, A and B enter, already in conversation.

A
What I'm saying is we need to be intimidating. We need to be a place where other teams don't want to play, where they're scared to even come out of the locker room.

B
But you see how that doesn't happen overnight, right? You have to get people to learn the songs, you have to get people used to joining in with what the group is doing, and you need them to be engaged enough to know when to do something different.

A
So what? We're just going to do the same four chants all game, no matter what happens? Can't we at least be more reactionary?

B
I think you mean reactive.

A
What?

B
Reactionary means opposing political liberalization. Right wing.

(A shifts his feet)

A
Right, right. I definitely meant reactive, like responding to the action.

B
OK, but we do that. We have chants we do specifically after goals, yellow cards, fouls, bad calls. When we get scored on we do "Up Cincinnati," and when Michael Bradley gets the ball we boo. Those are all reactive.

A
But what about player chants?

B
We've had plenty of player chants. But there's like 30 guys on the team ­ we have 3,000 people in the section, and most of those aren't there every game. When are they going to learn 30 player chants and then all know when to use them?

A
You could have people leading the chants, and letting people know when to switch.

B
Like the capos?

A
That's another thing, we should lose the capos.

B
Lose the capos?

A
Yeah, people don't like being told what to do.

B
Oh.

A
Oh?

B
Oh. So you want a wider variety of chants, tailored to specific players and countless individual situations in the games, for everyone to join into all of these, and with no
one leading them?

A
Right. It needs to be more organic.

B
Well, there's your problem.

A
What?

B
You're about 60 years late for organic.

They take a beat. C enters.

C
What are you guys talking about?

B
"A" wants everyone in the Bailey to join the chants organically, and to know all the chants, and to know exactly when to chant.

C
Oh, that's silly.

B
Right?

C
Right. People should just be allowed to do their own thing.

B
Wait what?

C
Not everyone wants to be in a Supporter's Group, or to do things the SG way. Some of us want to support in our own way.

B
You can do that.

C
It's tough when the whole section is singing a song and I want to shout something else. The players can't hear me.

B
Excuse me?

C
I'm just as valid as anyone else.

B
No one said you weren't.

C
So I have every right to chant and sing whatever song I want to just as anyone else has.

B
But you see how that would play out, right?

C
What do you mean?

B
What about my question didn't make sense?

A
I'm confused.

B
What else is new?

D enters. B perks up and invites D into their conversation.

B
D, come here and talk some sense into these people.

D
Gladly.

B
A here wants to get rid of capos, and he just wants everyone to kind of organically know all the chants ­ with new chants being added to the mix every week, and know exactly which chant to use at any given moment.

D
Well, that would be tough.

B
I know. And C here just wants everyone to be able to sing or chant whatever they want to, with no central leadership or crowd.

D
But that's just going to sound like random yelling, right?

B
Right.

D
Yeah, neither of those work.

A AND C, SIMULTANEOUSLY
But that's, just, like, your opinion man.

D
But they do have a point.

B
Oh no...

D
There needs to be a way for everyone to have their voices heard and share their ideas.

B
With who?

D
Whoever's in charge.

A
I agree, you should be able to share ideas with the people in charge.

C
Who then have to use your idea, because you shared it.

A
Right. But also...

C
There shouldn't be anyone in charge, because no one's better than anyone else.

B
But then who gets your ideas?

D
I'll take the ideas.

B
Please don't encourage them.

A
Awesome! Here's one idea ­ I have a chant for Nwobodo, to the Matchbox 20 song "Push."
(A starts singing)
Obi will push you around,
oh he will, oh he will;
Obi will push you down,
oh he will, yeah yeah.

D has somehow materialized a notebook, and she is jotting notes down furiously.

D
Awesome! Anything else?

A
For sure. When the official is making a lot of calls against you, I have this one to the tune of Matchbox 20's "Real World."
(beat)
Straight up, what did you, just see on that play;
if it was someone else, would you have made that call;
strange, where were you, when you missed the last call;
we wish the referee would just stop hasslin' we.

B
"Hasslin' we?"

A
You gotta make it rhyme with the song.

B
Rhyme what?

D
(to herself, while taking notes)
Make rhyme with the song...
(to the group)
These are great! Is that it?

A
(singing to the tune of "3 AM" by Matchbox 20)
His name is Lucho;
he plays the 10 and likes to nutmeg;
his name is Lucho;
he can't help but lose the ball sometimes, but eventually he'll score I believe it

B
Do you have anything other than Matchbox 20 songs?

A
Dude there's like a hundred Matchbox 20 songs. It's not like we're going to run out.

C
Stop gatekeeping him.

D
Yeah, stop gatekeeping him.

A
You need to learn your place, B.

B
I thought we were all equal?

C
Yeah, but some people's parents bought the restaurant and now they act like they own the place.

B
What does that even mean?

D
Oh, is this sarcasm now?

B
No, it was a genuine question.

The high-­pitched airhorn sounds again, louder this time. The four all cover their ears. After a few seconds the sound goes away.

B
What was that?

A
What was what?

C
Yeah, what was what?

D
Yeah, what was what?

B
What do you mean what was what? That noise! I saw you all cover your ears.

A
There you are, back to telling us what to do.

B
I'm telling you what you did.

C
That's gatekeeping. And, uh, gaslighting! You can't tell us what we did.

D
I mean, we did all put our hands over our ears, but not because you said we had to.

B
I didn't tell you to! We all put our hands over our ears because of whatever that sound was.

A
I think we all just need to agree to disagree.

C
Right, we don't see eye to eye, which is why it's important for each of us to have our own experience and reality.

B
Fine. But can we all agree it's fair for everyone to say what it is they exactly want, so at least we know what we're talking about? All nod.

B points to A to go first.

A
I want it to be more like Europe.

B
How?

A
Like in Europe. Intimidating.

B
Where in Europe?

A
England, Germany, Italy.

B
Where in England, Germany, and Italy?

A
You know where.

B
The racist ones?

A nods.

B
Ok, now C?

C
I don't want people telling us how to be fans. I want me and my friends to get to do the chants we want, without getting drowned out by the capos.

B
OK. So you want to be the only ones who chant?

C
Yes.

D
Well, that's silly.

B
Thank you!

D
There needs to be uniformity in the Bailey, and there needs to be structure.

B
Exactly.

D
But the current people in charge are doing too much gatekeeping.

B
That's actually a fair complaint. Do you have any ideas for fixing it?

D
Yes ­ put me in charge and let me do the gatekeeping.

B
Ah.

G re­-enters. Everyone stops and looks at G. G walks around the stage, as if looking for something. After a few moments...

­B
Can we, uh, help you find something?

G
I'm looking for my seat. It's on my ticket right--

A
Get out of here! There are no seats in the Bailey!

C
Yeah! Here, you stand and sing. If you want to sit, go join the suits in the club!

D
Plastic!

G runs away.

B
Thank god that guy's gone. The last thing we need are casuals around.

The entire group nods in agreement. The airhorn sounds again, louder and higher­-pitched than before. No one seems to notice. The lights fade.

END OF SCENE.